27.9 C
Manila
Saturday, February 22, 2020
Home Sports Football Times Griezmann attempting to find his feet at Barca

Griezmann attempting to find his feet at Barca

 

BARCELONA: Antoine Griezmann said he knew it would be tough settling in at Barcelona but it may have proven harder than he thought.

Barca play at home to Inter Milan on Wednesday looking for lift-off in the Champions League after a goalless draw against Borussia Dortmund made for an underwhelming start to their latest bid for success in Europe.

Antoine Griezmann AFP FILE PHOTO


Griezmann also has something to prove after two steady but unspectacular months, elevated by moments rather than the consistency Ernesto Valverde would have hoped for when the Frenchman’s 120-million euro release clause was activated last summer.

“Against Bilbao he was not as involved as we would like,” Valverde said at the start of the season. “But it is also up to the team to allow our strikers to participate more.”

When Griezmann scored twice in the next game, against Real Betis, before tossing glitter above his head at Camp Nou, it felt like he had made his big introduction and not just because of the theatrics.

But five La Liga games have since brought only one more goal and assist while a handful of rather muted displays have left a sense of a player finding his feet, despite excelling in La Liga for the past nine seasons.

After last week’s win over Villarreal, Griezmann was asked about his start at Barcelona. “It’s different,” he said. “It’s a different type of football, a different position and I knew it was going to be difficult to adjust.

“But I feel like I’m improving every game and that’s it. Three goals, it’s not bad right? I can do better but I just arrived. I work for the team and if I can score or assist, even better.”

Griezmann has reason to defend himself. He joined a team that after five games had posted its lowest points total in 25 years, with last season’s collapse against Liverpool still lingering, not least for Valverde, whose future is never secure.

He also arrived as one of the world’s premium strikers but found his new club pursuing Neymar for the duration of the summer, as if the Brazilian might add something he could not.

There were relationships to repair too, with Barcelona’s fans and players, after Griezmann not only turned them down 12 months before but embarassed them, by announcing his decision in a documentary.

AFP

Doctor ready to face rap over Dengvaxia scandal

A doctor indicted by the Department of Justice (DoJ) over his involvement in the distribution of the Dengvaxia vaccine is optimistic that the case will be...

More Immigration execs face dismissal over ‘pastillas’ scam — spokesman

MORE Immigration (BI) officers and employees assigned to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) may be axed from their posts pending results of an...

‘Profiling’ memorandum on Muslim students recalled

MGen. Debold Sinas, National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) director, ordered the recall of a memorandum that sought the identification of Muslim students in...

30 Filipinos evacuated from virus-hit Wuhan cleared to go home

ALL 30 Filipinos from Wuhan, China were cleared to go home after showing no signs and symptoms of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) after their...

Repatriation of Filipinos on virus-hit ship reset to ‘early next week’ — DoH

THE arrival on Sunday of almost 500 Filipinos aboard the coronavirus-hit M/V Diamond Princess Cruise Ship was reset to “early next week”, the Department...

Today’s Front Page February 22, 2020

Today’s Front Page February 22, 2020